Twin Lakes and Twin Towers Senior Living Communities’ residents are utilizing state-of-the-art technology to prevent injuries from falls and improve their quality of life. VSTBalance tracks and measures balance and gait by utilizing a 3D motion analysis system as part of a comprehensive Balance Initiative.
The overall goal is to reduce or eliminate resident fall risk as part of their health and wellness philosophy. Twin Lakes Administrator Lisa Zimmers, says, “Twin Lakes and Twin Towers are the only senior living communities in the Cincinnati area currently offering this technology. It completes our Balance Initiative, which also includes education and core strengthening. It’s a tremendous tool to create a strategy to improve balance.
The VSTBalance program evaluations and follow-ups show individuals how they’ve improved from where they started. An estimated one in four people age 65 and older fall. And if you fall once, you’re twice as likely to fall again. We’ve always monitored falls. But now we’re digging deeper into the data. We’re evaluating the information more methodically to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent them.”
How it Works
VSTBalance is designed by VirtuSense Technologies. It employs a single infrared camera to administer evidence-based standardized gait and balance tests.
Participants walk or perform other tasks in front of the camera. The system analyzes their abilities compared to a database of their peers. This establishes baseline metrics for each participant.
This process not only identifies limitations and areas of concern, but also provides a detailed report to create an improvement plan. Involving all team members (dining services, events and programs, environmental services, etc.) in the initiative is important because proper balance affects everyday activities. Such as getting in and out of the car, picking up things from the floor, and moving around the home.
Since the interactive VSTBalance motion analysis equipment arrived it’s been a valuable tool for short-term rehabilitation programs. The Connection, LEC’s wellness center, offers balance classes and utilizes the test results to advise participants.
The initiative actually educates residents on what it takes to improve balance and prevent falls. Some residents have seen a 35% increase in their balance since the program was implemented earlier this year.
Amy Brunner, Wellness Services Manager at Twin Towers, says, “I’m very excited to have the VirtuSense program. Using the variety of assessments available, we’re able to identify a resident’s fall risk and areas for improvement. In addition we can evaluate their strengths.
Having this information encourages and empowers residents to be in control of their level of independence. It’s a fun and interactive way for residents to improve balance and maintain their independence.”